Things are getting ugly for the Trump thugs.
As another public impeachment hearing indicts Rudy Giuliani’s smear campaign and Trump’s intimidation of a career diplomat and Trump and Republicans’ long time ally Roger Stone is found guilty on all seven felony counts, it’s announced that Trump’s personal lawyer is being probed for Ukraine corruption.
Federal prosecutors in New York are probing Rudy Giuliani’s links to Ukrainian energy projects after “associates told others that Giuliani stood to profit personally from natural-gas project pitched alongside campaign for investigations of Joe Biden,” according to a scoop by Rebecca O’Brien in the Wall Street Journal.
The natural gas business being probed was pushed by “two associates who also aided his efforts there to launch investigations that could benefit President Trump, people familiar with the matter said.”
And these two associates asserted that the Trump administration supported the natural gas pipeline project Giuliani was pushing, “Mr. Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, pitched their new company, and plans for a Poland-to-Ukraine pipeline carrying U.S. natural gas, in meetings with Ukrainian officials and energy executives this year, saying the project had the support of the Trump administration… In many of the same meetings, the two men also pushed for assistance on investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and alleged interference by Ukraine in the 2016 U.S. election, some of the people said.”
These two associates might be ringing a bell. If so, it’s because these two Giuliani associates were arrested on October 10 on charges that included illegally funneling $325,000 to a PAC supporting pro-Trump candidates and also worked on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch facing bribery charges here in the U.S.
Giuliani has “acknowledged that he and the two men worked with officials in Ukraine to collect damaging information about the American ambassador to Ukraine and other targets of Mr. Trump and his allies, including Mr. Biden and his younger son, Hunter.”
CNN legal analyst Julian Zelizer noted wryly on Friday that Trump claims to be so concerned about corruption in Ukraine don’t match up with putting Rudy Giuliani in charge of policy there:
POTUS was so concerned about corruption in Ukraine that he put Giuliani in charge of the policy there. https://t.co/5sY6JlBwEg
— Julian Zelizer (@julianzelizer) November 15, 2019
All of this is on top of the fact that Rudy Giuliani is being investigated by federal prosecutors for failing to register as a foreign agent and for charges that might include bribing foreign officials or conspiracy, according to an official quoted in an article by Chris Strohm and Jordan Fabian in Bloomberg on Thursday.
Rudy Giuliani is Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and the person he put in charge of running a shadow foreign policy that runs against the interests of the United States. There is no way this stench doesn’t rub off on the man who is currently being revealed (yet again) to have tried to bribe a foreign power to cheat a U.S. election for his own benefit.
Roger Stone was convicted today of five counts of obstruction of justice, one count of making false statements to Congress, and one count of witness tampering.
Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is now in prison for three years.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud. Additionally, Manafort pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of conspiracy against the U.S.
George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser to Trump, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents.
Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to Trump and a close campaign aide, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russia.
Rick Gates, a former deputy campaign chairman for Trump, pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to investigators.
Alex Van der Zwaan, the son-in-law of one of Russia’s richest men, pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller’s investigators about contacts with an official in the Trump election campaign.
Konstantin Kilimnik was charged with tampering with witnesses.
For a man who made his way into the Oval Office with chants of “Lock her up!”, Donald Trump has surrounded himself – it seems almost purposefully – with now convicted felons.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.